About Direct Messages

Direct Messages are the private side of Twitter. You can use Direct Messages to have private conversations with Twitter users about Tweets and other content.

The basics

  • You can start a private conversation or create a group conversation with anyone who follows you.
  • Anyone in a conversation can send Direct Messages to the group. Everyone in a group can see all messages, even if everyone doesn’t follow each other.
  • In group conversations, anyone in the conversation can add other participants. Newly added participants won’t see the prior history of the conversation.
  • Some accounts, particularly businesses on Twitter, have enabled a setting to receive Direct Messages from anyone. You can send a Direct Message to these users even if they don’t follow you.
  • In both group and one-on-one conversations, you cannot be in a conversation with someone you block.

To send a Direct Message from your Twitter app:

  1. Tap the envelope icon. You’ll be directed to your Messages.
  2. Tap the new Message icon  to create a new Message.
  3. In the address box, enter the name(s) or @username(s) of the users you wish to send a Message to. A group Message can include up to 50 people.
  4. Enter your message. Tap the picture icon to take or include a photo in your message. Note: When you share a photo in a Direct Message, the photo is only viewable by the sender and recipient(s).
  5. Click Send.
  6. You and anyone else in a conversation can click or tap the more icon ••• (iOS) or overflow icon  (Android) to add new people to the group, view everyone participating in the group, edit the name of the group, turn off notifications for the conversation, or delete the conversation. 

 

To delete a Direct Message or conversation:

  • To delete a Direct Message, tap and hold the message and select Delete from the menu that pops up.
  • To delete an entire conversation, swipe left on the conversation and tap the trash can icon (iOS) or tap and hold the conversation and select Delete (Android). You can also delete an entire conversation by clicking or tapping the more icon ••• (iOS) or overflow icon  (Android) and selecting Delete from the menu that pops up.
  • When you delete a Direct Message or conversation (sent or received), it is deleted from your account only. Others in the conversation will still be able to see Direct Messages or conversations that you have deleted.

To send a Direct Message via the web:

  1. Log in to your Twitter account.
  2. Click Messages in the top navigation bar.
  3. You'll see a pop up showing your Direct Message history. Click the New message button.
  4. In the address box, enter the name(s) or @username(s) of the users you wish to send a Message to. A group Message can include up to 50 people.
  5. If you’d like to include a photo in your Message, click Add photo. Note: When you share a photo in a Direct Message, the photo is only viewable by the sender and recipient(s).
  6. Type your message and press the enter key to send.
  7. You and anyone else in a conversation can click the More icon ••• to add new people to the group, view everyone participating in the group, edit the name of the group, turn off notifications for the conversation, or delete the conversation.
Note: To start a new line in a message, press the shift and enter keys at the same time. Pressing only the enter key will send your message.

 

To delete a Direct Message or conversation:

  • To delete a Direct Message, hover your mouse over the message and click the trash can icon that appears. Then click Delete message to confirm.
  • To delete an entire conversation, locate the conversation and click to open it. Then click the more icon ••• and select Delete Conversation. Then click Yes to confirm.
  • When you delete a Direct Message or conversation (sent or received), it is deleted from your account only. Others in the conversation will still be able to see Direct Messages or conversations that you have deleted.

To Share a Tweet via Direct Message

Sharing a Tweet via Direct Message is a great way to spark a conversation with a group of friends. Learn more here.

To receive Direct Messages from anyone:

You can receive Messages from anyone if you check the box next to Receive Direct Messages from anyone in your Security and privacy settings on twitter.com. You can also adjust this setting via the Twitter for iOS or Twitter for Android apps.

Note: If you enable this option, any user can add you to group conversations.

 

To change your settings using Twitter for iOS:

  1. From the Me tab, tap the gear icon 
  2. Select Settings from the menu that pops up, and tap the account @username you’d like to adjust.
  3. Under Privacy, tap Receive Direct Messages from anyone to allow anyone to send you Messages.

 

To change your settings using Twitter for Android:

  1. In the top menu, tap on the overflow icon 
  2. Select Settings and tap the account @username you’d like to adjust.
  3. Under Other, tap Receive Direct Messages from anyone to allow anyone to send you Messages.

To send and receive Direct Messages on your phone via SMS:

If your Twitter account is connected to your mobile phone, you can send and receive Direct Messages via SMS.

  • Haven't added your mobile phone yet? Find out how here.
  • Added your mobile phone already? Find out what text commands to use to send Direct Messages via SMS.
  • Read this article about setting up your mobile preferences to learn more about how to receive Direct Messages via SMS.
A note about Direct Message failures: Please be careful to ensure that Direct Messages you send via SMS are under 160 characters, including the d command and username. Your service provider may split SMS messages greater than 160 characters into multiple SMS messages. In this case, the second and any subsequent SMS messages will post as  public Tweets because they don’t begin with the appropriate text command (d username) that tells Twitter they are Direct Messages, as the first SMS message did.

Frequently asked questions:

My account is protected. What happens when I enable the "Receive Direct Messages from anyone" option?

Regardless of your Tweet privacy settings (i.e. whether your Tweets are protected or not protected), your account will be able to receive Direct Messages from anyone if you enable the option to Receive Direct Messages from anyone.

 

Why am I not seeing group Messages?

You can start and participate in group Messages when using twitter.com, the Twitter for iPhone, iPad or Android apps, and TweetDeck.

 

What happens when I delete a Message or conversation?

  • When you delete a Direct Message or conversation (sent or received), it is deleted from your account only. Others in the conversation will still be able to see Direct Messages or conversations that you have deleted.
  • When you delete a group conversation, you will leave that group and will no longer be able to participate.

 

How can I stop someone from sending me Direct Messages?

To stop receiving Direct Messages from someone, locate the conversation with that user and click to open it. Click the more icon ••• and select Flag as spam or Mark as abusive. Then click to confirm. This user will not be able to send you a Message until you send them a Message first.

You can also choose to block the user. Blocked users will not be able to send you Messages until you unblock them.

 

Why am I not seeing a reply box?

You will not see a reply box if you are not able to send a Direct Message to the other participant. This might happen if the other participant has unfollowed you, blocked you or has flagged the conversation with you.

 

Why am I having trouble sending Direct Messages?

There is an account limit of 1,000 Direct Messages sent per day. Once you reach this limit, you can’t send any more Direct Messages for the day.

If you are sending Direct Messages to accounts that do not follow you, you may need to verify your phone number.

If you are sending duplicate Direct Messages to multiple accounts (including sending the same link to multiple accounts), this may be flagged as spam activity and can result in you not being able to send a Direct Message for a short time. You may need to wait at least 30 minutes without any attempt at sending a Direct Message before you’ll be able to do so again.

 

My account is sending Messages without my knowledge. What is going on?

If your account is sending a Direct Message without your knowledge, it may be compromised. Follow the steps outlined in this article to help secure it.

 

Why am I receiving Messages from myself?

Please take the following actions:

  1. While signed in, visit your Apps tab in settings. Revoke access for any third party application that you don't recognize.
  2. If you're still experiencing this problem after you've revoked unwanted applications, or if you weren't expecting this behavior when you approved this connection, please contact us.

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